BusinessCompany NewsLLP Diary: letter from America

LLP Diary: letter from America

I'm writing this from the Big Apple, enjoying a few days' well-earned rest. Everything on schedule now, all problems solved and we're talking about launching a month early.

Am I dreaming? Is it April Fools’ Day? Yes it is. Back to reality when I return to soggy spring in Russell Square.

What seemed like a good idea at the time (publicly recording our journey toward LLP conversion) now only serves to focus more attention on what ‘project manager’ David Brown highlights at every steering group meeting – how fast time passes. These meetings suffer with so many busy people having other full-time commitments.

But last month’s analogy of water suddenly speeding up as it nears the edge of the waterfall was probably not the most helpful. A simple reminder that we only have 66 working days left would have served equally well.

In common with almost every aspect of commercial life, this conversion process is all about deadlines. With an equity partners meeting in mid-April rapidly approaching, the main focus of the past fortnight has been on finalising the members’ agreement and further developing the business transfer agreement.

You can only continue serene progress towards achieving milestones if someone is looking after the ‘plumbing’ and there is still a great deal of it to be looked after.

The plan is now down to a mere 280 active tasks – these include everything from changing ink stamps to new letters of engagement; email sign-off training; marketing brochures; negotiations with the landlords; and novating contracts with suppliers.

It is a fact of life that a large part of the actual change must take place in the final two to three months so a comprehensive plan is a must. This is where the initial brainstorming sessions of last autumn and creating a steering group at an early stage are really paying off.

On that upbeat note, it is time to forget all about plumbing and return to business… oops, where did that leak come from? Is this an LLP diary or the start of The Poseidon Adventure Part 23?

Mike Tovey is managing partner of Chantrey Vellacott DFK

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